If the play had a catchy name, the Chiefs didn’t let on.
“The name? Score,” wide receiver Tyreek Hill said.
And Hill did, in stunning fashion at the end of the first half on a play that will have a long shelf life on highlight reels in the Chiefs’ 28-17 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday.
Social media dubbed the play, “Hill Mary.”
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To reset: The Chiefs had a final snap of the first half from their 44. Two seconds remained when quarterback Alex Smith got the ball.
A Hail Mary is usually the play call.
Instead, Smith went underneath. Beyond the three pass rushers, no Cowboys defenders were near the middle of the field. Hill caught the pass around the Cowboys’ 43.
At this point, the Cowboys had the numbers advantage. By the time Hill reached the 25 there were seven Dallas defenders in position to make the tackle, and Hill had tight ends Travis Kelce and Demetrius Harris in front of him with wide receiver Demarcus Robinson on his flank.
“We’ve been practicing it all year, one of those end-of-half, end-of-game situations,” Hill said. “We did a great job executing, blocking down the field starting with Demarcus.”
Before he threw the first of two blocks, Robinson signaled for Hill to veer his way, cutting left.
“I knew it could be a big-time moment,” Robinson said. “You always do what you can do to help your team. Everybody had to pick up a block.”
They did, and Hill did the rest. He stutter-stepped for a few yards, made his final cut at the 10 and sprinted into the end zone to cut the Chiefs’ deficit to 14-10 at halftime.
The Chiefs’ sideline went nuts, the Cowboys were stunned and Dallas owner Jerry Jones didn’t know what had happened.
“I was eating my hot dog,” Jones said.
The Cowboys, who had just scored to take a 14-3 lead, weren’t in good humor as they left the field.
“There were guys that were a little upset,” Dallas defensive end Tyrone Crawford said. “I was upset coming in. It was one of those plays that you run in Madden that was super lucky.”
Another critical component to the moment occurred on the prior snap, when Smith completed a short pass to Charcandrick West. The play started with nine seconds remaining and gained 12 yards.
“I knew we had nine seconds when we started the play,” West said. “I didn’t have time to do much and still have time to start another play.”
So West jumped out of bounds with two seconds remaining, enough for Smith, Hill and his blockers to come up with one of the most improbable touchdowns of the season.
West also was on the field for the Hill touchdown, and he had a premonition something special was about to happen as the Cowboys conceded the middle of the field.
“When he caught the ball and saw him with all that space I knew I was going to be trouble,” West said. “The kid is special. His nickname is ‘Cheetah.’ ”
The touchdown was added to Hill’s record collection. He has nine touchdowns of 50 or more yards in his two NFL seasons, including rushing, receiving and returns.
In NFL history, only Gale Sayers — with 10 — had more touchdowns of 50-plus yards in his first 25 games.